Sunday, October 3, 2010
Part 5 of 7 Phillies Championship Advantages
The Philadelphia Phillies are fortunate to call Citizens Bank Park "home." The stadium is both part and parcel to the greatest era in the organization's history.
It possesses a rare combination of retro charm, modern luxury, intimate dimensions, and an electric atmosphere that make it a truly special sports venue.
There are so many aspects of the place to like— from the meticulously groomed grass field to the towering scoreboard in left to the ivy covered brick wall in centerfield. Even the bullpens that typically are squeezed into some otherwise unusable space take center stage with fans lining the railings above.
The team's roots are well represented throughout the complex. Former beloved members of the Phillies family such as Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, and Harry Kalas are immortalized with statues, artwork, photographs, memorabilia, and signage.
Providing additional appeal are the concession offerings along Ashburn Alley spanning gap-to-gap in the outfield with a perfectly positioned opening above that provides a terrific view of the Philly skyline.
And, very importantly, the stadium features a playoff atmosphere every game of the year. Phillies fans packed Citizens Bank Park beyond capacity for all 81 home games, as well as three more "away" games transplanted from Toronto.
Needless to say, postseason tickets in Philadelphia are only available through resale outlets at a lofty markup.
With the Phils closing out the campaign on the road, the final regular season attendance tally is in. Excluding the Blue Jays home games, the club set an all-time record with 3,647,249 fans rotating the turnstiles.
Perhaps an even more remarkable figure is that this count represents 103.5 percent of capacity.
Standing room only crowds at every game provide a definite advantage to the home team. The fact that the overwhelming majority of them are passionate, vocal Phillies loyalists takes it to another whole level.
By virtue of the best record within and All-Star game victory by the National League this season, the Phillies will enjoy that home field advantage throughout the postseason.
This is not a small thing. It is an edge that translated into a 92-point greater winning percentage in 2010.
Wednesday, the Phillies open up defense of their back-to-back National League Pennants in the friendly confines of "The Bank." Another sellout, and charged up fans will surely have the place jumping.
The current that will be coursing through the air that day has been known to both intimidate opposing players and motivate the hometown heroes. Count this, along with batting last, as another Phillies championship advantage.
The Citizens Bank Park structure, accommodations, and features are surely world class— but it is the electric atmosphere provided by the fans that makes it the best venue in sports.
It also makes "The Bank" the perfect stage for another Philadelphia Phillies World Championship.